If you need an idea where this has come from just check the graph below and headlines in the related articles at the bottom...
Yes indeed Sony hasn't been having the best of times recently and in an effort to improve profitability and global competitiveness the company is now seeking to make major changes. Primary to them is the widening role of current CEO Sir Howard Stringer to encompass that of president allowing him to "directly oversee the electronics business to enable faster implementation of his strategic direction."
The direct result of this is the formation of two new business groups:
Firstly, the 'Networked Products & Services Group' will include Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE), personal computers (VAIO), new mobile products (including the current Walkman lines) and Sony Media Software and Services. Secondly, the 'New Consumer Products Group' (CPG) will include the current Television, Digital Imaging, Home Audio and Video businesses.
In addition, the 'Common Software and Technology team' "will develop and implement integrated technology and software solutions across the products groups, and provide coordinated software development services to the product groups" while the 'Manufacturing/Logistics/Procurement team' will be "charged with ensuring the most efficient supply chain solutions throughout these two new business groups".
The aim of this move is simplification and should you choke on that having read everything above let's just say it's a lot clearer than the previous arrangement which, quite frankly, was unintelligible to even most employees.
Can these radical moves help reverse the fortunes of a company which recently reported its first loss in 14 years? Well, scrapping Memory Cards and its overly proprietary approach to consumer technology would arguably be just as helpful, but I'd suggest this is a decent start...